Journal article

Distribution of the type III DNA methyltransferases modA, modB and modD among Neisseria meningitidis genotypes: implications for gene regulation and virulence

Aimee Tan, Dorothea MC Hill, Odile B Harrison, Yogitha N Srikhanta, Michael P Jennings, Martin CJ Maiden, Kate L Seib

Scientific Reports | NATURE RESEARCH | Published : 2016


Neisseria meningitidis is a human-specific bacterium that varies in invasive potential. All meningococci are carried in the nasopharynx, and most genotypes are very infrequently associated with invasive meningococcal disease; however, those belonging to the 'hyperinvasive lineages' are more frequently associated with sepsis or meningitis. Genome content is highly conserved between carriage and disease isolates, and differential gene expression has been proposed as a major determinant of the hyperinvasive phenotype. Three phase variable DNA methyltransferases (ModA, ModB and ModD), which mediate epigenetic regulation of distinct phase variable regulons (phasevarions), have been identified in ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) [NHMRC Early Career Fellowship]

Funding Acknowledgements

This publication made use of: the Meningitis Research Foundation Meningococcus Genome Library ((, developed by Public Health England, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Oxford, and funded by the Meningitis Research Foundation); and PubMLST ((, developed by Keith Jolley, sited at the University of Oxford, and funded by the Wellcome Trust and European Union). This work was supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) [NHMRC Early Career Fellowship to Y.N.S; Program Grants 565526 and 1071659 to M.P.J.; Project Grant 1021631 and Career Development Fellowship 1045235 to K.L.S.], The Meningitis Research Foundation [D.M.C.H] and the Wellcome Trust [M.C.J.M].